‘Tis Autumn

On Saturday, we celebrated the Autumnal Equinox by Mr. Michie taking me to a glorious horse chestnut tree he had found and we spent a good 20 minutes collecting handfuls of fallen conkers. We brought them home, scrubbed them clean, dried them and now they’re sitting in a bowl, nestled around a candle, with their shiny chestnut brown coats gleaming.

Since Saturday, it feels as if Mother Nature has kissed Summer on the cheeks and bid her adieu. It has been decidedly chilly and rainy. This morning we woke to clear skies and it had warmed up to a balmy 38°F when we left for school.

I’m not complaining; I love the crisp air, the crunch of leaves and acorns underfoot, the air that smells at once fresh and of an earthy dampness of leaves slowly decaying on the woodland floor. There is a magic to this time when one season slips into the next.

Fly Me To The Moon

Fly Me To The Moon, is one of my favourite songs. It’s a song that has transcended musical boundaries. It’s a a close call, but I think Frank Sinatra is my favourite male singer of this tune, it’s his pacing that just makes it. Julie London’s rendition is perfectly classic, but that’s a close tie with the gorgeous Doris Day’s recording and if I’m in a jazz mood, only Vince Guaraldi will do. But, if I’m going old school, you can’t beat Bobby Womack. I’ve had this album spinning all week.

Here’s to the weekend, long may it last!

The Written Word Endures #11

The Master Hand looked at the jewel that glittered on Ged’s palm, bright as the prize of a dragon’s hoard. The Old Master murmured one word, ‘Tolk,’ and there lay the pebble, no jewel but a rough grey bit of rock. The Master took it and held it out on his own hand. ‘This is a rock; tolk in the True Speech,’ he said, looking mildly up at Ged now. ‘A bit of the stone of which Roke Isle is made, a little bit of the dry land on which men live. It is itself. It is part of the world. By the Illusion-Change you can make it look like a diamond – or a flower or a fly or an eye or a flame -‘ The rock flickered from shape to shape as he named them, and returned to rock. ‘But that is mere seeming. Illusion fools the beholder’s senses; it makes him see and hear and feel that the thing is changed. But it does not change the thing. To change this rock into a jewel, you must change its true name. And to do that, my son, even to so small a scrap of the world, is to change the world. It can be done. Indeed it can be done. It is the art of the Master Changer, and you will learn it, when you are ready to learn it. But you must not change one thing, one pebble, one grain of sand, until you know what good and evil will follow on the act. The world is in balance, in Equilibrium. A wizard’s power of Changing and Summoning can shake the balance of the world. It is dangerous, that power. It is most perilous. It must follow knowledge, and serve need. To light a candle is to cast a shadow…’

-Ursula K. Le Guin, Earthsea, The First Four Books, A Wizard of Earthsea

Back to School

School started in full force on Monday and I wasn’t quite ready. I spent most of Monday thinking it was Tuesday and a large part of yesterday thinking it was Wednesday. Who knows what that was all about? I think it’s just wishful thinking that I’m closer to Friday again!

{Image HERE}

HELLO, September!

Hello, September! I don’t know how you got here so quickly? I wasn’t ready for you. I’m still not ready for you. I’m not quite prepared for the call of back to school, to the change of pace that brings. No more afternoons spent reading books in the woods or strolls that end with cake and coffee or living in the moment of summer, music playing late into the night and burning candles slowly becoming the only light as evening quietly closes in. The march of back to school is its own drum, I was having too much summer fun and I’m not quite ready for it to start beating again, but we will find our rhythm to this beat again, as we do in all seasons.

{Image Dinara Snizhevskaya // Pinned HERE}

Hunger

I love to dance. I am constantly dancing around the house while doing stuff and I used to have the perfect spot in the woods where I could bust a move if I so chose. However, over the past year the local council have been doing a lot of work in the woods and much to my sadness they’ve been cutting down large sections of trees. My perfect hidden dancing spot disappeared with one of their larger tree removals.

However, I have recently discovered a new nook and this morning after a 3 mile run and a long stretch over the back of a tucked away bench, I walked home along this hidden path and in an open nook, danced my heart out to Florence. There is something exhilarating about dancing alone to your own rhythm.

The Written Word Endures #10

‘Now,” said Georg, snapping me out of my thoughts, ‘there is one further thing that your father has left you, and I must ask you all to come with me. Please, this way.’

We followed Georg, uncertain of where he was taking us, as he led us around the side of the house and across the grounds until we eventually reached Pa Salt’s hidden garden, tucked away behind a line of immaculately clipped yew hedges. We were greeted by a burst of colour from the lavender, lovage and marigolds that always attracted butterflies in the summer. Pa’s favourite bench sat underneath a bower of white roses, and tonight they hung lazily down over where he should have been sitting. He had loved to watch us girls play on the little shingle beach that led from the garden to the lake when we were younger, me clumsily attempting to paddle the small green canoe he had given me for my sixth birthday.

‘This is what I wish to show you, ‘ said Georg, once again pulling me out of my reverie as he pointed to the centre of the terrace. A striking sculpture had appeared there, resting on a stone plinth about as high as my hip, and we all gathered round to have a closer look. A golden ball shot through by a thin metal arrow sat amidst a cluster of metal bands that wound intricately around it. As I noticed the outline of the continents and oceans delicately engraved on the encased golden ball, I realised it was a globe and that the arrowhead was pointing straight to where the North Star would be. A larger metal band looped around the globe’s equator, engraved with the twelve astrological signs of the zodiac. It looked like some kind of ancient navigational tool, but what did Pa mean by it?

‘It’s an armillary sphere, ‘ Georg stated, for the benefit of all of us. He then explained that armillary spheres had existed for thousands of years and that the ancient Greeks had originally used them to determine the positions of the stars, as well as the time of day.

Understanding its use now, I took in the sheer brilliance of the ancient design. We breathed words of admiration, but it was Electra who cut in impatiently, ‘Yes, but what does it have to do with us?’

‘It isn’t part of my remit to explain that,’ said Georg apologetically. ‘Although, if you look closely, you’ll see that all of your names appear on the bands I pointed out just now.’

And there they were, the script defined and elegant on the metal. ‘Here’s yours, Maia.’ I pointed to it. ‘It has numbers after it, which look to me like a set of coordinates,’ I said, turning to my own and studying them. ‘Yes, I’m sure that’s what they are.’

There were further inscriptions beside the coordinates and it was Maia who realised that they were written in Greek, commenting that she would translate them later.

‘Okay, so this is a very nice sculpture and it’s sitting on the terrace,’ CeCe’s patience was wearing thin. ‘But what does it actually mean?’ she asked.

‘Once again, that is not for me to say,’ said Georg. ‘Now, Marina is pouring some champagne on the main terrace, as per your father’s instructions. He wanted all of you to toast his passing. And then after that, I will give you each an envelope from him, which I hope will explain far more than I am able to you.’

Mulling over the possible locations of the coordinates, I walked back to the terrace with the others. We were all muted, trying to take in what our legacy from our father meant. As Ma poured us each a flute of champagne, I wondered how much of this evening’s activities she had already known about, but her face was impassive.

Georg raised his glass in a toast. ‘Please join me in celebrating your father’s remarkable life. I can only tell you that this was the funeral he wished for: all his girls gathered together at Atlantis, the home he was honoured to share with you for all these years.’

“To Pa Salt,’ we said together, raising our glasses.

– Lucinda Riley, The Storm Sister

*I’m starting the third book in the Seven Sisters Series today and so far the previous books have been engrossing, enthralling, enchanting and I adore the mythological currents that run through them as they relate to the Pleiades. I have heartily devoured these books and this complex and fascinating series that Lucinda Riley has created. She has woven a spell-binding tale of love, magic, mystery and intrigue and I can’t put them down!